Ward has been with the Broncos since 2014. He spent the first four seasons of his career with the Browns starting in 2010, where he made his first Pro Bowl in 2013.
Since joining Denver, Ward’s made a pair of Pro Bowls, with last season being his first of not being named, even with his numbers not taking a dive.
So why would the Broncos make a move on Ward? Let’s examine
Why the Broncos would trade Ward
Ward is 30 years old, which isn’t young in the NFL. He missed time with a hamstring injury this summer, but has otherwise made it back to the field. However, hamstring injuries are tricky, and are easily re-aggravated and could lead to longer term problems.
Ward is in the final year of his contract with the Broncos, and will make $4.5 million his season. Signing him to a new deal when he will be 31 next season, while also recovering from a hamstring injury is a risky game the Broncos may not want to play if they can find a good deal for him. They also have Justin Simmons waiting behind him, who was a third-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft out of Boston College.
Why the Broncos wouldn’t trade Ward
The Broncos aren’t totally sure what a replacement for Ward would look like. Will Parks had domestic violence arrest in March, and a Snapchat incident where he posted video that showed two plays with Paxton Lynch at quarterback, where he made two bad throws.
For now, Parks is playing, though he suffered a hip injury against the Packers on Sunday. That would leave the team thin at the position if they were to trade Ward, leaving Simmons and Darian Stewart. Yes, they have Jamal Carter, Orion Stewart, and Dymonte Thomas, but aren’t as certain of what they’re able to do at the position in comparison to Parks and Simmons.
Oh, and the Broncos had the league’s fourth-best total defense last season, and best passing defense. They don’t need to fix what isn’t broken.
Chances Broncos make a trade for Ward: 4/10. There’s not enough of a need for them to make an immediate move. They have players they feel are capable waiting behind him, but John Elway doesn’t seem pressed to make a move, as the teams are calling him, not the other way around.